May 31, 1996 Rolla, KS Chase By Craig Setzer And Al Pietrycha

On another note, we were in southeast Colorado on a cell simular
to yours in KS.  It moved right and we jumped on it after watching
seemingly hundreds of towers going up from inside western KS.
We reached the cell from the east which would have been one of the
only ways to reach it since it put down 20 minutes of tennis ball
sized hail on the west approach in Eads.  We set up under a large
weakly rotating (very green) region that probably looked vaulted
on radar.  At first there were two seperate wall clouds but later
the west wall took over.

We had been stationary for about 5 minutes when the first spout
sprang up about 4 miles to our northwest or 2 miles south southeast
of Sheridan Lake.  It lasted what seemed a long 8 minutes.  Another
spout formed behind it and lasted about three minutes.  The needle
condensation funnels from cloud base looked like they were twisting
about each over but it may have been our perspective.

The third spout popped up about a mile to our southeast and lasted
11 minutes.  This one eventually looked like some kind of
translucent sea creature.  It drifted very slowly to the southwest.
A forth spout popped up just south of the first two but was very
brief.

The wall cloud to our west put down three seperate tornadoes.  The
first was a very thin condensation to the ground.  The second
was an elephant trunk and the third was just about x-rated.  We
didn't have a condom big enough but we still considered it
"safe chase".  This last one chased us pretty hard for about
ten minutes as we tried to push south.  At times, the outflow
was blowing dust right down the road we were on which with our
speed of better than 60, created a weird look of suspended dust
around the vehicle.

Some observations...  We were playing an E/W boundary  with SSW
winds on the south and NE winds on the north.  It looked like the
landspouts were forming on the ground along the boundary and then
sloping northward into the vaulted rainfree region.  It also
looked like the towers to the east of the main cell had the
appearance of elevated convection making me wonder if the spouts
also leaned through the area of windshift, sloping northward with
increasing altitude.  BTW, the spouts were displaced at least 4 to 8
miles east (downwind wrt storm movement) of the tornadoing wall cloud.

And finally then I'll shut up, we called the NWS at PUB with the
first tornado report and just a minute later could hear the sirens
blowing in Sheridan Lake. That was cooooool.....

Craig Setzer along with Al Pietrycha
csetzer@rmi.net